Multinational ‘played key role’ in El Ejido corruption scandal

50 people, including a former mayor and his wife, involved in ‘biggest ever’ fraud case in Almería

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Three of the men at the centre of the Poniente fraud case. From left to right, ex-mayor Juan Enciso, José Alemán and former head of Elsur, José Amate

By Richard Torné

Executives from one of Andalucía’s biggest multinationals were at the centre of Almería’s largest ever corruption scandal involving a former El Ejido mayor, council officials and their relatives – the prosecutor investigating the case has said.

The case, known as the ‘Caso Poniente’, involved the systematic plunder of El Ejido’s council’s coffers for more than a decade. Ex-El Ejido mayor Juan Enciso stands accused along with his comptroller Jose Antonio Alemán of embezzling more than €60m of public money.

This week the public prosecutor revealed further details of the scandal, accusing 50 individuals and calling for most of them to serve lengthy prison sentences (Enciso and Alemán each face 66 years in jail if found guilty).

But it has also emerged that a dozen executives from Spanish multinational Abengoa allegedly played a far bigger role in the fraud than was previously thought, and may have masterminded the scam.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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